Aaron Katz’s first two films, Dance Party USA and Quiet City, are some of my favourite American indie films of the last five years. Yes, he is one of the directors (along with Andrew Bujalski and Joe Swanberg) categorized as mumblecore.
If you imagined what it would be like to cross mumblecore with a 1970s thriller, Cold Weather is exactly what you’d come up with. It is a brilliant idea and the execution is right on the money. Like other mumblecore films, it is an understated character study, but it also throws in mystery and intrigue. Doug has moved back to Portland and is living with his sister. He loves Sherlock Holmes and is working in an ice factory. It isn’t even fair to give a plot synopsis because plots aren’t really important in mumblecore but also because this plot is so unusual for the genre. There may be a missing briefcase, a lot of sleuthing, the pencil rubbing trick, disguises and a trip to watch whales.
A couple of scenes aren’t paced quite right or seem a little forced but in general it is sweet and hilarious and totally not obvious. And, once again, Katz delivers with an ending you don’t see coming (kind of like that famous Sopranos ending), which is also immensely satisfying.
There is one more screening on Monday, Oct 11th at 1:30pm, Empire Granville 7 Theatre 2. If you miss that, the good news is that Cold Weather does have distribution and should get shown again in Canada some time next year.